Samniqueka Halsey, assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and CAFNR Faculty Fellow, is the lead author on a letter published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. “Elevate, don’t assimilate, to revolutionize the experience of scientists who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour” (SharedIt PDF version) outlines suggestions for how minoritized individuals can not only survive but thrive in ecology and evolutionary biology. The letter’s authors, five Black women who started as doctoral students at the same university, used their shared experience to develop a list of eight strategies. The strategies include: expect and use external support, build your community and reframe academic privilege.
Halsey earned her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University; her master’s degree from Chicago State University; and her PhD in ecology, evolution and conservation biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research focuses on computational ecology, long-term data sets, geographic information systems and remote sensing, biodiversity conservation and emerging wildlife diseases. She uses computational approaches to understand the mechanisms involved in the patterns we see in nature. On the teaching side, Halsey’s undergraduate emphasis area is in natural resource science and management, and her graduate emphasis area is in fisheries and wildlife sciences.
As the CAFNR Faculty Fellow for Inclusivity, Diversity and Equity, she is developing and implementing strategies to help CAFNR become a more compassionate, diverse, inclusive and equitable community for all students, faculty and staff across the college.